Every business owner knows that the process of goal setting (and keeping) is important, right? But do you know just how impactful this activity can be? Many business owners go through the motions of making goals, and even have great intentions of meeting them. But as reality sets in, the goals start to fall to the wayside. This is so heartbreaking to watch – it’s like deciding to play basketball, getting all your gear on, getting a pass from your teammate, running down the court, and then slowing to a walk and veering off out of bounds just as you are approaching the net. Ack!
I believe that if you really understand how much impact setting-and-sticking-to goals can have on the long-term success of your business you might seriously start to integrate it into the fabric of the way you run things. So if your cheeks are getting hot and you’re feeling a bit guilty right about now, listen up! This is why you need to make your way to that slam dunk:
Sharing Your Vegan Vision
Whether you have one employee or 100, when you document your goals it helps to keep everyone on the same page. This has many advantages. First, everyone knows where they’re headed, and why they’re doing what they’re doing. This is critical! Especially in small businesses, there is so much to be done that it’s easy to get caught up in small tasks and lose sight of the bigger picture, or even for key players to have different ideas of what the big picture is.
When you share your vision of company goals, productivity often increases, and delegating tasks and projects becomes easier as you see that all your team members are working toward a common dream. This often leads to a better ability to leverage the creativity on your team. If your team members can see why you are doing what you’re doing and what you’re trying to achieve, they may be able to bring valuable ideas to the table.
This is a key part of creating a team that really works for your business, and this is true whether you have 10 people on your team, or two! When you get people involved and make them feel valued, they will feel more invested in the business and its goals, which is better for everyone.
Making Better Decisions
Having solid goals helps you when it comes to decisions of how to allocate precious resources, in particular who should be working on what, when. This is especially important for smaller organizations with fewer resources.
When you are making plans for your business it’s natural to get excited about all the things you want to achieve, but it’s very important that you don’t try to work on everything at once. It is crucial to learn how to determine which goals will have the biggest impact on your business, and once you have that down it’s easy to decide what you will work on now, and what can be put on the back burner.
A common mistake I see new business owners making is feeling that everything is important and needs to be done NOW without learning how to prioritize. The fact is that every business has a finite amount of resources, so you need to be able to look critically at the situation. Being able to do this will ensure that you not only hit your goals, but that you do it in a way that doesn’t overuse or deplete your resources (time, money or people). By strengthening your decision-making skills you will start to yield better results with the same resources, which means you will not only be working better, but smarter.
Using Goals As Building Blocks To Increase Productivity
In business, there are almost always processes that are repeatable, and understanding how this can help us to roll out and achieve our goals over time can be a great advantage. On the other hand, when we get too focused on growth and don’t think carefully about how to implement our goals, we may assume that if we throw all our resources into achieving the goals we have set, we will yield better results. But that’s not always the case.
For example, let’s say you plan to launch two new products/services this year. Instead throwing everything you’ve got into trying to launch them both at the same time, what if you first focused on one product and the launch process? Your goal in this case is larger than the financial success that might come from launching two products, but includes the development of a process that allows you to really understand the resources and tools you need to launch a new product. This means that when you are ready to do your second product launch, you can use what you learned from the first launch to streamline the process, making it more efficient, and most likely more effective and profitable too.
This building block approach helps you to create a process as part of your goal, and to use the goals you have set to make you and your business more efficient. With efficiencies such as this, you can reduce costs, ultimately driving higher income for your business.
Knowing What’s Working
When you document your goals, and the processes you took to meet those goals, you are better able to see what worked well and what didn’t, and you’ll have that information recorded so you can use successful processes again.
Many of us make the mistake of thinking we can keep everything in our brains, and that we won’t forget. While you may remember the big things, a lot of the details will be forgotten, and often the details are what lead to success. In addition, a good documentation process protects your company from losing key information if team members move on. If you get into the habit of documenting your goals and the processes of meeting them, you’ll be able to go back and leverage that information.
Remember, everything worth building takes time and effort, and this is part of the process – a key part – that can help you stay on course toward the net, have the confidence to make the jump, and give you the information you need to hit your target.
Document at least one process in your business that’s working well and determine if you can repeat this process in a way that either yields better results, or can help you meet your goals faster. It could be a recent marketing campaign, presentation or customer-service technique. For example, if you find your customers are asking similar questions, perhaps you can add these questions to your FAQs or create pre-set responses to help your customer service team be more efficient, or perhaps you could record a video that addresses these concerns to help remove an obstacle for your customers in the buying process.